The teacher in whose heart the child is not closely

We believe that all intelligent, spiritual skills belong only to us, but it is embedded in man by the labor of others – a feat the teacher. The priests think of those, who all his life working, without receiving gratitude and immediate returns.

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Archpriest Constantine Ostrovsky, rector of the Dormition Church in the city of Krasnogorsk, Moscow region
The school was raised to the dignity

Archpriest Constantine Ostrovsky

With memories of school starts my book “In the parish and in the family.”

I’m a native Muscovite, he was born in 1951 and grew up in a completely nonreligious family. Mom and grandma came to Church later than I did. In 1967 I graduated from one of the best mathematical schools of Moscow, now called the “Lyceum “Second school””. Of course, memories about the school there are fragmentary, but from them, not all are worth to be published. I think the main thing, and even exploit “Second school” was that it raised pupils ‘ self-esteem. As educated? In the fullness I can’t describe. Here are just a few touches.

Once in chemistry class I accidentally tore up the linoleum on the table and was rightly sent a teacher to the Director. Expected the dressing and the hard questions, why I did (and I did it with no intention), but instead of reprimand, the Director Vladimir Fedorovich Ovchinnikov just told me that I fixed the broken Desk. It was so amazing that I remember so far.

Whether in the 9th or in the 10th grade was short-lived, as I recall, the period when the “Second school” prefects were allowed to write comments in the diaries of his comrades. When our head Dima Sobolev began to make such recordings, “victims” were indignant, and many supported them.

For this reason Natalia Togawa, our homeroom teacher, arranged the meeting. Was pretty hot and candid debate; remember that I was on the side of “victims”; Natalia, of course, defended the administration’s position (though now I’m not sure she was really agree). How it ended I don’t remember; probably more of the headman of the diaries was not concerned. But this is not important, but the fact that Natalia be respected, promoted sincerity, gave us to speak, wanted us to have their point of view and knew how to defend it.

In the tenth (then graduation) class, we with friends often skip class, and came to the fact that Natalia was invited to the school my mom.

If mom found out about my truancy, she would be very upset, and I regret (well, myself too) and so I asked Natalia Vasilievna not to tell my mom about skipping class. She promised. And kept his promise!

Should teachers fulfill such requests students? Of course not. But Natalia V. was important, as I now understand, to get away from the lifeless confrontation “teacher – scholar” and to prove that she’s not a teacher, but a teacher. She and scholar (me) as though called to rise from kolarstwa to discipleship. I promised the class teacher was a lesson of generosity.

However, to honor Natalia must add that her act was not out of the ordinary. We all knew she was generous, and my request seemed quite natural. It was even fun (it is not only the mother, but I have avoided trouble), but now I write these notes, and mentally bow to Natalia Vasilievna.

The guys in the “Second school” was of the most different social strata. In our class studied and the son of a member-correspondent of Academy of pedagogical Sciences Vadim Petrovsky, and the son of the Chairman of the football Federation of the USSR Alexander Ryashentsev, and the son of a Professor of mathematics Nikolai Zverev. There were children, including me, growing up in ordinary families. However, social differences did not prevent us to be friends, we were aware of, but did not give them values. No “refined intellectuals” (memorable expression Natalia) do not turn up their noses, nor the “workers” don’t get jealous.

It was during his studies in “Second school” happened to me very important to me personally event. At the school where I studied until the 8th class, I have a few years offended the bullies, not beaten, but humiliated often. And I, although he was physically strong by nature not timid, accustomed to them to Snicket. In “Second school” systematic bullying, as I recall, it was not, but surrounding the Teens sometimes we get stuck. Habit impatient was I at the ready.

But once, I remember, I was sitting in class and looking out the window, and there to some staroshkolnaya stick two hooligans. It one pushed, the other pushed Yes and away he went. And suddenly the thought came to me: “Better to let them hit you in the face than spit”. In the shower coup. “Better to let them hit you in the face than spit” – I took that as a motto. Of course, the formula is not very accurate and not quite Christian, but some truth in it, for though pride is a sin, cowardice is also a sin.

What is self-esteem? Christian, this sense of responsibility to God. I am the son of God by grace, and this means I have high standards.

As far as I can see, among my school-mates were not Orthodox Christians. Among teachers, as I afterwards learned, was, but to us they did not say. But self-esteem, the feeling that there is something higher than short-term interests that there is some truth which we are involved and which should not change, this sense of “Second school” we were brought up.

After school, I immediately went to the 1st Moscow medical Institute (currently called the “First Moscow state medical University named after I. M. Sechenov”). First gathered in physical, because at that time quite successfully (at youth level) was engaged in Greco-Roman (when classical) wrestling. But physical me and family seemed somehow undignified, so he decided to enroll in similar profile of medical.

Six months studied, passed the 1st session and got bored. Got bored in math, in the native class, guys. Did not take medical science as science, though he studied well. Already passed Parasitology, embryology, part of the anatomy, other important items, and I kept thinking: when will begin the science?

Once on lectures on histology already in the 2nd semester of my buddies were talking so loud that the teacher after class, stopped us and began to chide, that, well, so many good young people are unable to enter the medical Institute, and you are killing time. And I’m with him sincerely in the shower agreed: decided to leave the longed-for so many of the First med and return to mathematics.

Unreasonable, of course. And enroll in medical need in order to become a doctor, not instead of physical. And to go from such a good Institute not worth it. Mom and grandma were shocked. I decided, however, to ask advice from Leonid Mikhailovich Volova, who taught in the “Second school” math.

Leonid Mikhailovich in our class, very respected, loved and trembled before him. He taught interesting, thoroughly; was a witty, good-natured and strict at the same time. I’m in 10th grade a lot of skipped classes, but when a couple of times to skip class, Leonid Mikhailovich, he told me something (not specifically remember) and something said (by the way, not threatened) that I never missed any of his lessons.

Another was Leonid Mikhailovich such a wonderful event. One of the guys in our class got a for test five, but then he found, in its decision one of the objectives of the mistake and said it was Leonid. He has corrected the top five on four. And I think that’s right. The boy for the sake of truth have sacrificed the pleasure of receiving excellent grades. Whether it would be well to reject his sacrifice, leaving undeserved five?

Here we are with my mother and grandmother and decided that I will go to Leonid Valova and ask him if I should leave medical school and enroll at MSU. I arrived at their home school and asked Leonid for your question. He said that the creative mathematician, I can hardly be, but to teach you can. The decision was made. The Dean of the medical faculty to me, even documents did not want to give, insisted that the mother came. I was then only 16 years old.

But now, not a boy, I think, by and large, if done correctly. It was the search for their life. In the end, I was neither a physician nor a mathematician nor a teacher, but was a sincere search, and it led me right to my driveway. And it is worth to risk even more to lose.


Archpriest Theodore Borodin, rector of the Church of Cosmas and Damian on Maroseyka in Moscow
Very boldly was at the time to discuss the quotes from the Gospels

Archpriest Theodore Borodin

Me in my personal development, like many others, extremely helped my teacher in literature – beloved Elena Konstantinovna Ivanova. Important was how she taught literature as explained how did, like talking to children. I keep thanks to her, love her very much and all the time pray for her.

She managed to pass the school curriculum so that she had extra hours to the end of the school year. And they she told us about the poets of the Silver age. This story was absolutely not formulaic, not Soviet. With students coming from a man who loves these poets, knows. And sometimes she’d risk – for example, to talk about the literary achievements of Nikolai Gumilev, shot by “anti-Soviet”, in 1984, and took courage.

I remember being in sixth grade she gave us an assignment – write an essay on the topic “What is happiness”. First, we sort of rushed to make jokes and write about some sweets, but she managed to set us so that half of the lesson we sat and thought. She forced us to hear this question at the depth at which we, children, could it to yourself to hear and try to answer. Such things bring.

It is also very important, when you suddenly realize that you are a teacher interesting. What the teacher values your dignity, never losing their.

It is important that you grow and develop, are all of your thoughts, even some small children. It helps you to become more and more Mature.

And literature and a little less history – it was two items, on which in Soviet times was unfolding battle for the soul of the human. Which you could invite the person to reflect on something outside the ideological framework. For example, when we were “Gadfly” Voynich, the teacher initiated a great conversation about the epigraph. “Leave; what do You want with us, Jesus Nazarene?” Extremely daring for that time was to tell us students that this is a quote from the gospel. I had already read the gospel, and for some it was actually first mentioned in life.

In sixth grade Ancient history, we read the historian-a man and told the so that we were sitting open-mouthed. In a parallel class were my friend, now a very famous person – Andrey Desnitsky, who I know decided to go into antiquity and because he entered the classical Department of the philological faculty of Moscow state University under the impression that he was impressed with these stories.

But only when I had children, when some of them studied and graduated from high school, I was able to understand that the formation of my personality meant those good teachers that I had. And at school, and in Seminary.

In 1988 I read in a textbook on the recent history of the Church that the bandits, anarchists withdrew from the Lavra of the Holy Martyr Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky) and brutally killed him. And since we already knew that it was the Bolsheviks, I asked the teacher: “why about it not to write?” The teacher thought for a second and told me the words that are remembered for a lifetime: “to Demand another man’s heroism – is immoral”. He never condemned, and put in place. I didn’t understand that this tutorial is composed of year in the eighties and every teacher, if he wrote that it was the Bolsheviks could not remain at work.

One, now deceased, Archimandrite came to replace a teacher in Bible studies. Upon entering the class, he asked: “What?”, and it became clear to us that especially for the activity he was not prepared. But read us a lecture so that we were sitting with open mouths. While I was sitting in the front row and saw him slightly to the side in the pulpit. He read us a lecture, and his eyes looked at the dome of the assumption Cathedral of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, the hand fingered a rosary. He managed interesting lecture on the subject, which is not specifically prepared, and at the same time – read it with the Jesus prayer.

All of us have negative memories of school. Most people have on the whole future life is often quite natural claim to those teachers or representatives of the school administration who have dealt with them unprofessional, unfair, UN-human.

But still much more in each of us that the school has given us a good, the good, which she brought us. And we very often forget that. And that, in General, is a monstrous injustice.

Because the school each of us was formed, a very learned a lot. In school we are faced with different teachers and administrators. There were extras, there were people who just worked people who treated us just as “students of the units”. But still each of us at school were talented people who put in us your heart, your time, your human experience.

The tragedy of these people, the tragedy of any good teacher I understood only when I was a priest. And the teacher, as the priest is the person who faces a problem: to work formally or work as expected. There the Apostle Paul spoke these words, he writes the Corinthians, “our Mouth is open unto you, Corinthians, our heart is enlarged. You are not straitened in us, but in your hearts closely” (2 Cor. 6:11,12).

Real teacher – a man whose heart is expanded and which is not close to any child. Only such a teacher is only one priest, only a doctor who knows how to take a man’s heart, not to meet and dismiss it formally becomes a good doctor, priest, teacher. And this man certainly feels the pain.

And out of all three teacher feels the greatest pain, because it is a long time, sometimes for many years, invested in children, forming their personality and then lose all contact with them. Children grow up to believe that they owe nothing to anybody. They believe that all they have, all the good skills, including intellectual, emotional – is something that belongs only to them.

They do not realize that in them is invested the labor of others. It’s a huge work of other people, which could not to. But did just out of love for him, for the love of the profession. A person does not feel gratitude and just walk away.

The teacher is the person who all his pedagogical century invested almost without any for yourself response, no echo. Children grow up, they have their own concerns. Very rarely happens that in 20, 30 years people came and thanked her teacher. This is a beautiful letter of Bishop John (Shahovskoy) to the teacher.

To be a good teacher is quiet a feat to work and get no thanks, and still live by the principles that are in your heart. I bow to all teachers on 1 September and always.


Archpriest Igor Gagarin, rector, St. John the Baptist Church in the village of Ivanovskoe (Moscow oblast)
I “Chippawa”, and the school is not encouraged

Archpriest Igor Gagarin

Grade school memories I have are contradictory. We had peace, understanding teacher. Still, negative memories, alas, more.

Remember, as a teacher of literature, which I loved, and said, “You finish school and go to College and then usually remember school kind. I had otherwise. The most joyful memories at the Institute. In school you’re always not free, you solve everything, you are constantly forced to get into something that you don’t want to get involved. The Institute is the most beautiful time in my life.”

When I went to College, became convinced of the veracity of her words to me. Against the joy, the completeness, of the interest, the life that came at the Institute, somehow faded all that was in school.

Especially because in high school a lot had to do what to do did not want. I was well aware that, after graduating from school, completely forget all that now you have to spend time, studying algebra, geometry, physics, to in the certificate was a good rating. It is very much demoralized and required a lot of effort. I dreamed that when I graduate from school, throw away all the textbooks on mathematics, physics.

The most insulting that my favorite subjects, the Humanities, which was given to me relatively easy, I did not: I knew that was the answer, but to go deeper would not allow time, because most of the time was occupied with the study of science that I was given more and who, I knew, I wouldn’t need.

The situation was aggravated by a conflict with a teacher of mathematics. She is a very capable, talented woman, a wonderful teacher. But heavy – handed. She wanted to prove to me that you are forced to learn the subject properly, and I even tried, but to cope with the pressure of despotism could not. I myself worked as a teacher and know the teacher can prove to any student that he knows nothing and capable of nothing, even if he knows quite a lot and is able. In my case it was so.

It was a real war with the student, which resulted in two triples in the certificate – algebra and geometry. And three was absolutely not objective. I just proved something.

I don’t want to think about it, but talk, because saw an example of what a teacher should be.

The second point – in high school you have the feeling that you have grown, grown to some freedom, but is forced to obey the rules, for you when everything is solved. In the last year I have counted the days when I end school, and next – anything. The army will be taken, the Institute will do – as it will, but only to escape from this feeling that you are constantly repressing, constantly forced to do what you appear to be uninteresting and meaningless.

Here it is even more not in the shortcomings of the school, and in my views: I then very close was the hippie movement. And I myself am what is called “Chippawa”, which, of course, no school is not encouraged. Now well aware that my understanding of freedom was not quite right.

Even in my school was tough relations between students of the senior class and a Junior. Bullying, when one who is older, maybe you can do anything, and you don’t have to argue, have no right, because you’re in ninth grade, and he in the tenth.

I want to emphasize that all of this is my personal experience, and it is, hopefully, not typical. I talked to friends, they often school I remember otherwise… But still have a lot to thank good teachers (and they were), and good friends-classmates. Some still keep in touch.


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